Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Saint George and the Dragon


With the feast of St. George falling on Easter Wednesday this year, following a weekend filled with way too much cake, I decided to make a Veggie Platter for the feast of St. George instead of a dragon cake or our Saint George Cookies. Our veggie platter was inspired by a couple snake themed veggie trays I found through a google image search, with the addition of some lettuce wings at the suggestion of Charlotte's oldest son.  I thought it turned out great and my children love it! You can find the directions over at Catholic Cuisine.


We will devour the dragon with dinner this evening with dinner, after reading a couple new picture books about St. George that one of our boys discovered in his Easter Basket including: Saint George & the Dragon by Jim Forrest and The Saint Who Fought the Dragon: The Story of St. George (affiliate links).


Saint George & the Dragon, with it's gorgeous traditional iconographic style illustrations, is definitely a new favorite.


I also printed out the following St. George's Day poem to read aloud at dinnertime. It was written by one of my visitors here at Shower of Roses, Eliana Murphy.  She said it is actually the the lyrics to a St. George's musical medieval-style miracle play and granted me permission to post it here at Shower of Roses. Thank you for sharing it with all of us, Eliana!


The Ballad of St. George
by Eliana Murphy

Ye lords and ladies, listen well
And hear the tale we have to tell
How good St. George the dragon slew
And won a lady’s heart so true.

The sun was shining o’er the lea
As he came riding merrily
Adventure seeking, far or near
If death should come, he wouldst not fear.

Behold a maiden, pale and fair,
With hair of gold and beauty rare.
But in her eyes her tears do glow
As to St. George she tells her woe.

“Fair knight, this land is full of death,
Burned by a dragon’s fiery breath.
He now demands my life to kill
And of my flesh he’ll have his fill.”

“Fear not, fair maid. Now dry thy tears.
I’ll mend thy sorrow, calm thy fears.
Now though this dragon do his worst,
I’ll free thy land of his great curse.”

“Sir knight, thou speakest mighty well.
And if this dragon thou dost fell,
My father, king of all the land,
Wilt then reward thee with my hand.”

Who thunders now across his path?
The fearsome dragon, full of wrath.
With breath of fire and mighty wings
Cruel claws that grab, a tail that stings.

Come now, brave knight, the dragon kill,
And of God’s glory have thy fill.
And if thy soul be true and bold,
The maiden’s heart is thine to hold.

Be glad, ye people, now rejoice!
Come dance and sing with cheerful voice.
Acclaim the hero, this brave knight.
Who killed the dragon with great might.

“Fair knight, thou broke the dragon’s spell,
Our hearts give thanks to thee full well.
Now to my daughter pledge thy troth,
And may Our Great God bless thee both.

The people shouted and did sing
To see him honored by the king.
Then to the maiden he was wed,
And now for all a feast was spread.

Be glad, ye people, now rejoice!
Come dance and sing with cheerful voice.
For joined as one fore’er shall be
This holy knight and his lady.

Our song is o’er; our play is done,
But now thy story has begun.
Wilt thou be bold, thy dragons slay?
Or wilt thou turn and run away?

Ye gentle folk, we bid farewell.
Here ends the tale we had to tell,
How good St. George the dragon slew,
And won a lady’s heart so true.


Saint George, Pray for Us! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter from Our Family to Yours!


I have so many pictures I'd love to share from our Easter/Birthday celebration yesterday! It is going to have to wait for now, since I filled up the external hard-drive (again!) and it's going to take a little time to sort through folders and and delete duplicates to make some more room... In the meantime I was able to upload the family picture we somehow managed to take, in between Easter Sunday Mass and the party we hosted, with the help of the self-timer on the camera and one of the steps on the swing set!

Today we will be attending Mass at noon, the baptism of a sweet baby girl, the reception following, and then coming home to have dinner (it's going in the crock-pot now) with some dear friends (our oldest daughter's godparents and their children!) who have been in town visiting their family for Easter!  It is going to be another fun and very full day! Happy Easter!!!

He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday Lenten Dinner


Every year our children look forward to our Lenten Dinners which were originally inspired Alice's Lenten Teas. These have become much loved traditions in our home over the past six years.  It really isn't very hard to pull together and can be modified in so many ways, as you can see from the changes I've made from year to year. Here are the pictures from this year's Lenten Dinner on Holy Thursday:

Removing a thorn from our Lenten Crown of Thorns 
Note: This Post Contains Affiliate Links

~ Palm on the Road ~

Like I did a couple years ago, I decided to add another book to our collection for this menu item. When I ran across a bargain priced version of The Donkey and the Golden Light I thought it would be perfect for this year.


"And many spread their garments on the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields." Mk. 11:8


~ Costly Oil ~

One of the boys made a salad and I pulled out the vinegar and some "costly oil" to use as dressing. 


"And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her." Mk. 14:9


~ Thirty Pieces of Silver ~

I happened to have 30 Chocolate Coins left over from St. Patrick's Day so I used these for our "silver" this year.  Only a few of the children gave up candy this year so those few are saving their few coins (and Hershey Kiss) for Easter and put another sacrifice bean in the jar. 


"Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, 'What will you give me if I deliver him to you?' And they paid him thirty pieces of silver." Mt. 25: 14-15


~ Unleavened Bread ~

I kept it extra simple this year and picked up a package of Naan since my husband loves it, although technically it is a leavened bread...  Don't tell the kids! 
It was perfect for with either the Chicken Curry Soup or the Fig Butter. 


"And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the passover lamb, his disciples said to Him, 'Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the passover?'" Mk. 14:12


~ The Mount of Olives ~

This year's Mount of Olives was a mix of Black Olives and Garlic/Jalapeño stuffed Green Olives


"And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives." Mk. 14:26


~ The Cock Crows Twice ~

This year we had Chicken Curry Soup and Baked Chicken.


"Mom, did you just put the chicken in the baking pan so that it looks like it is homemade?!  Genius!!" 
Um, no.  I put it in the pan so that I could heat it up! ;)  And I should have washed and dried my hands before touching the little sign with my greasy fingers... The Chicken Curry Soup was homemade though, using my mom's recipe. YUM!!! 


"And Jesus said to him, 'Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.'" Mk. 14:30


~ Gethsemane Figs ~

Fig Butter representing Gethsemane Figs to spread on the "unleavened bread." 


"And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, 'Sit here, while I pray.'" Mk. 14:32


~ Sleepy Apostles ~ 

Not all of the children like herbal tea, but a few of us enjoyed some Sleepytime Tea after dinner. Thanks again Jennifer for the suggestion!


"And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep?  Could you not watch one hour?" Mk. 14:37


~ Judas' Kiss ~

One Hershey Kiss each to represent Judas' Kiss. 


"And when he came, he went up to him at once, and said, 'Master!' And he kissed him." Mk. 14:45


~ The Clouds of Heaven ~

Since we were traveling on the solemnity of St. Joseph this year I still had a package of Cream Puffs in the freezer that I had purchased for our annual feast day celebration.  They made perfect little "Clouds of Heaven" for our Holy Thursday Dinner. 



"And Jesus said, 'I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'" Mk. 14:62


~ Peter's Tears ~

Roasted and Salted Almonds were perfect for Peter's Salty Tears.


"And immediately the cock crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, 'Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.' And he broke down and wept." Mk. 14:72



I'm adding this last picture to give you a peek at the supplies for this year's dinner. (The soup and salad are not pictured, and we ended up not using the Fig Bars.)  It really isn't that difficult at all to pull together these symbolic meals!  The girls set the table, the boys helped prepare the soup and salad, and I printed off some new little card stock signs. (You can still download my document over at Scribd.)  


The baked chicken and a small pot of Annie's Macaroni and Cheese were last minute additions for the youngest three, who I knew wouldn't eat the Chicken Curry Soup.  


Unfortunately we weren't able to make it to the Holy Thursday Mass... The only Holy Week Service our local parish has this week is on Easter Sunday, but the children and I will be driving to town for the Good Friday Service. 

I hope you all had a very blessed Holy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Daybook During Holy Week


This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. If you choose to click any of the links, then add an item (any item!) to your cart and complete the purchase, I will receive a commission. We are so grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you!

Outside my window...
my husband and I have been meeting with contractors.  We have a few projects that we are hoping to begin this spring/summer which include building a new shed/pump house (to protect our pipes and deep well pump from freezing again next winter like they have the last two years) and remodeling/expanding the small detached "garage" on our property.  Phase one includes an excavator and logger to make room for the garage expansion. I was so glad to hear that they wouldn't be able to start felling trees (including a couple of our huge Ponderosa Pines) and removing stumps until early next week.  I'd much rather wait until after our annual Easter Egg Hunt to deal with all the clean up, although it would have made for some interesting new hiding places!

I am thankful... 
that I finally caught up all our bookkeeping from the past year (we have always used Quickbooks) and we were able to file our tax return before the deadline!  I fell behind during my last pregnancy and spent countless hours working on caching up this past couple months, and especially these last two weeks. It is so nice to have it all done! I was really worried that we were going to need to file an extension for the first time... Now we can put this year's refund towards the upcoming projects!

I am thinking...
about how much our life has changed this past year and how many more changes are right around the corner.  It all hit me again last week when I walked out to the kitchen after dinner to find it all clean and our three oldest drying the last of the dishes they had washed.  I sat down at the counter, snapped the picture below with my phone, and started thinking about how fast they are growing up... Our oldest will be 14 this summer, in just two short years all three of them will be teens, and in five years our oldest will leave for college.  Rose will turn five this year.  Five years goes by way too fast!


Learning all the time...
I'm sorry I haven't managed to post a curriculum update yet... It's in my drafts folder but far from completed. With tax season behind us and the end of the school year approaching quickly, I will try and get back to it soon, especially since I need to start thinking about our plans for next school year!

Celebrating the liturgical year...
Despite my original plans to move our Holy Thursday and Good Friday dinners to Passion Sunday and Palm Sunday, the past two weekends were just too full already.  I think we may still have them this week after all.

From the kitchen... 
lots of groceries. I finally made it back to Costco and Trader Joe's to stock up for Easter!

I am working on... 
mailing out prizes from the recent Baskets of Books for Easter Giveaway.  It has been fun hosting all these giveaways the past couple months and I still have a couple more great giveaways scheduled for you all!

I am creating...
Easter plans. We will be hosting Easter Sunday dinner at our home again this year and it will most likely be very similar to 20132012, and 2011 with the addition of birthday cake this year. We also need to make a new Paschal Candle sometime in the next few days!

I am going...
camping. Last weekend we drove out to my parent's house to look at their old motorhome and ended up driving it home that evening!  My forester husband loves camping under the stars in the middle of nowhere and I prefer hotel rooms overlooking the ocean.  I think it will be the perfect compromise for our "little" family! We have already started making a list of all the lakes, rivers, and other destinations within an hour or two of our home that we hope to visit this summer. The Pacific Northwest is such a beautiful place to call home!

 

I am hoping...
to host another Curriculum Sale Blog Hop at the end of May!  Thank you to everyone who left comments or emailed with their preferences.  I may still host one in August as well, or just leave the link up open for the summer.  I still need to figure out all the details and will let you all know once I have finalized the dates.

I am praying...
for my parents.  Today is their 37th wedding anniversary!  Happy Anniversary Dad and Mom!


I am reading...
Walking with Purpose: Seven Priorities That Make Life Work.  I have the hardcover edition which was a gift from a sweet online friend, but the paperback is only $4.00 and there is a Kindle Version available for even less.

Pondering these words...
from Walking with Purpose: Seven Priorities That Make Life Work:

"Priorities can help us to keep first things first. When we live them out, we increase the likelihood that we'll be content with the choices we make. We'll have smoother schedules and happier homes. But even when we live them out as authentically as we possibly can (which is an enormous challenge), there can still be seasons of life when circumstances turn the best laid plans upside down. There is no perfect formula that guarantees we can always avoid being harried or making mistakes. It is important to remember that our worth does not depend on living in perfect balance. God's love for us and our value as women does not go up and down depending on how perfectly we execute a plan and keep our priorities in order. Holiness isn't measured by our perfection. It's measured by how we love. . ."



I am listening... 
to advice from holy priests. I was once again blessed with an unplanned visit with a priest. Thank you God! I happened to run into Father Kotas at Costco of all places (his parish is over 2 hours away but he was in town picking up a deacon at the airport!) and we had a nice long chat about a few things I have been struggling with lately.  Note to self: Restock purse with kleenex...

Around the house...
Bud's new favorite thing to do is to pull all the symbols off the Jesus Tree and peel all the crosses off the Lenten Calendar.  I've lost track of how many extra crosses I've had to print.  Next year I am definitely going to laminate everything and make it all re-useable.  At least he doesn't shove them down the air vents!


One of my favorite things...  
hearing my little Bud call me "MomMom."  The rest of the children all called me "Mama" when they were babies/toddlers, but hearing them all call me "Mom" now must have influenced his name for me.  I just love it! Especially when he holds my cheeks with his two little chubby hands and says it so lovingly "MommMomm!" ❤

This week's plans...
  • Meet with Excavator/Logger
  • Math tutors on Tuesday and Thursday
  • Orthodontist appointments for both of the girls
  • Meet with the Planning Department to go over the requirements for Setbacks and Fuel Break Reduction... (Spent two hours in the waiting room but was finally able to get a few answers!)
  • Have underground lines located
  • Start stocking the RV with supplies
  • Grocery Shop and Prepare for Easter
  • Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday and a Birthday! 

A little peek at my day...
A bouquet of flowers from my sweet baby girl.  (Posted on Instagram earlier this month.)


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Meet the Masters :: Piet Mondrian


Piet Mondrian was the next Master Artist, following Mary Cassatt in our Meet the Masters Art Course this year. We completed this unit study at the beginning of March.  Each of the units has taken us about three hours to complete - one for the lesson/discussion, one for the worksheets, and one for the art activity.  We prefer spending one afternoon completing the units, but they could easily be broken up and spread out over the week or month. My goal for this year is to complete Tract A, which leaves us with just Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet before our summer break!

.: Master Artist Introduction :. 

Piet Mondrian (MON-dree-ahn) 

Dutch (1872-1944)

Mondrian's geometric, abstract art illustrated the balance of shapes and colors in modern art. After being introduced to the work of this master artist from Holland, the children imitated his expressive arrangements of colors, lines, and shapes.

Art Activity Emphasis: Balance of Shapes, lines, and colors
Media: Paper


.: Art Supplies :. 


Three 3"x3" squares of paper (1 each of red, yellow, blue)
Twelve 1/2"x12" strips paper (2 blue, 2 red, 8 yellow)
One 12"x12" sheet of light gray paper (we used cream)
One piece of scrap paper (for dab of glue)
One Q-tip
White glue

Note: The program suggested construction paper but we used card stock since I already had plenty on hand.  We didn't follow the instructions exactly - I need to start reading them ahead of time, and preferably not in the middle of (at that point unknowingly) fighting H1N1! ;) - but I thought the final results still turned out great.


.: Practice Technique  - Mondrian's Balance :. 



.: Art Project - Broadway Boogie Woogie :. 




Saturday, April 5, 2014

Baskets of Books for Easter {and a Giveaway!}


Easter is coming up quickly and I've been busy rounding up little gifts to fill our children's Easter Baskets!  I've been collecting books to include since last year and can hardly wait to give them to the children.  Some of the books I have purchased from either Amazon or Sacred Heart Books and Gifts, some have been purchased at local bookstores or on clearance, and some have been given to me as review copies from the authors or publishers.

In addition to all the books, I love including something that represents each child's patron saint (this year it will be a mix of Saints 'N Stiches and Prayer Pillowcases), art supplies (this year they are for our upcoming Meet the Masters lessons including Lyra Aquacolor Crayons, Paper Chalk, Soft Pastels, and a couple different kinds of Oil Pastels from Pentel and Sakura), a small toy or two (little lego sets, metal earth, finger puppets, etc), and some symbolic Easter candy (I've made my own in the past, however with all the sickness we've been fighting this year I am hoping to keep candy to a minimum) in the Easter Baskets.  I also usually put together a "Family Easter Basket" but since one of the girls will be celebrating her birthday on Easter this year, I'm planning on filling that basket just for her, incorporating the various Easter symbols into some of her birthday gifts this year!

I'm still waiting for my last order to arrive, but I have listed all my picks for this year below along with some pictures.  Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for a chance to win a book from the basket of books I have to share with all my dear visitors here at Shower of Roses!

Note: Before I share the book list, I do want to remind you all that I haven't read most of these books yet. I made my decisions based on recommendations, reviews, publishers, and the past work of some of the authors/illustrators. Many of the links below are affiliate links. If you choose to click any of the links, then add an item (any item!) to your cart and complete the purchase, I will receive a commission. We are so grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you!

For Captain (age 13):

The Soldier of Christ: Talks Before Confirmation

Any book on the sacrament of Confirmation can explain what Confirmation is, but this is the only book that explains, in the most original and engaging manner, what Confirmation does. It is both a dialogue and a travelogue, taking the reader on a journey from the Crusades to the Crimea; from medieval ceremonies of Knighthood to early modern methods of warfare. What does it mean to be a Soldier of Christ? For the true child of God, life is a daily battle against a well-concealed foe-that is, our own flaws and failings-and Mother Mary Loyola proposes to arm young recruits adequately for this task, leaving no stone unturned in her quest to root out this 'enemy at home'. This is the sort of basic training no young Catholic should be without.

Backyard Ballistics
This bestselling DIY handbook now features new and expanded projects, enabling ordinary folks to construct 16 awesome ballistic devices in their garage or basement workshops using inexpensive household or hardware store materials and this step-by-step guide. Clear instructions, diagrams, and photographs show how to build projects ranging from the simple match-powered rocket to the more complex tabletop catapult and the offbeat Cincinnati fire kite... This book will be indispensable for the legions of backyard toy-rocket launchers and fireworks fanatics who wish every day was the fourth of July.


Saint Ignatius of Loyola: Leading the Way

Our oldest son was baptized on the feast of St. Ignatius and has always had a special devotion and love for this saint.  It's a little young for his age, but I think he will still enjoy this comic style book from Pauline Books.





John Paul II: The Journey of a Saint

This richly illustrated hardcover book tells the fascinating and deeply inspiring story of Pope John Paul II, who will be canonized a saint in April 2014. Young people will be drawn to the well-crafted pictures and simple text that tells the dramatic and inspiring story of one of the most important figures of the twentieth century, one that many are already calling "John Paul the Great".




Tolkien: A Dictionary
J.R.R. Tolkien is the father of modern fantasy. He created characters and a world so rich with details—and so unique—that it warranted a whole new vocabulary along with it. His creation of language is not surprising, considering his first civilian job following his service during World War I was working on the Oxford English Dictionary. Inside, you’ll find a chronology of Tolkien’s life, along with a short biography and an explanation of his writings. Then flip through the dictionary to discover terms like Aglarond, the great caverns beneath Helm’s Deep, or the Black Riders and the mystery surrounding them—among many other terms. This companion serves as a terrific resource for all those in love with Middle Earth and its inhabitants.


The Hunters: Brotherband Cronicles, Book 3  
Captain received Book 1 of this series last Easter and Book 2 for Christmas. I've pre-ordered Book 4 for his birthday! "From the author of the global phenomenon Ranger's Apprentice! Hal and his brotherband crew are hot on the trail of the pirate Zavac and they have one thing only on their minds: Stopping the bloodthirsty thief before he can do more damage. Of course, they also know Zavac has the Andomal, the priceless Skandian artifact stolen when the brotherband let down their guard. The chase leads down mighty rivers, terrifying rapids, to the lawless fortress of Ragusa. If Hal is to succeed, he will need to go beyond his brotherband training. He will need to challenge the pirate one-on-one, knowing only one of them will survive."




For Ranger (age 12):

A Child's Book of Warriors
Young people-boys and girls alike-will delight in these stories of warriors who in all ages have defended the right and fought for high ideals. William Canton was a journalist, poet and an author of children's books such as The Invisible Playmate(1894), W.V., Her Book (1896/97), and W.V.'s Golden Legend (1898), which was published in the United States under the title A Child's Book of Saints. His writing showed his great love for all things ancient as well as his flair for storytelling. Though A Child's Book of Warriors was published 14 years after A Child's Book of Saints, it has similar stories and a similar style, so that the two are like companion volumes. The notable characteristic of both is Canton's unique penchant for British history and the appeal of his lyricism as he recounts the tales of saints and other heroes less well known to us today. The noble qualities of each character shine forth as each legend comes to life in these pages.



The Art of Stone Skipping and Other Fun Old-Time Games
"It’s an old-time playtime—nothing electronic, just games that have stood the test of time! They help children build skills like hand-eye coordination, problem solving, and simply learning how to be a good team player and work well with others. But most of all, they’re lots of fun. This collection of timeless games guarantees kids a great time—by themselves, with a group of friends, or with their family. And best of all, no batteries are required . . . and very little equipment, too."


Learn to Burn: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Started in Pyrography

Known as pyrography, which literally means "writing with fire," woodburning is a rewarding art that is practically infinite in its applications. This book shows you everything you need to get started in this fun and expressive craft.

Pope John Paul II Comic Book
Also available from Sacred Heart Books and Gifts

The exciting life story of Pope John Paul II, a man who touched the whole world with the power of his faith and love. Features include a summary of important events, photos, and a listing of pastoral visits around the world.




A Tolkien Journal

"Aspiring writers and Tolkien fans everywhere will be inspired by this fantastical journal. Harkening back to a time of quills and parchment in the magical world of Middle-Earth,A Tolkien Journal is the preferred means for a Halfling to record his thoughts and adventures. Now available to humans and with amazing half-tone illustrations on nearly every page, A Tolkien Journal is the perfect enchantment for your writings and musings."




Dragon Slayers: The Essential Training Guide for Young Dragon Fighters

The Essential Training Guide for Young Dragon Fighters, Based Wholly on the Practices of the Great Dragon Slayers of Old and the Wisdom of Their Ancient Manualby Sir Wyvern Pugilist.





For Twinkle Toes (age 10):

Saints & Heroes
In this updated anthology Ethel Pochocki (author of Once Upon a Time Saints books) has selected a mixture for older youth of soldiers and sailors, kings and queens, doctors, lawyers, beggars, thieves, poets, diplomats, fools and cranks, and she has told their stories in her characteristic lively style. She shows how brave and generous such people were; how they challenged the society they lived in; and how they have since become light-bearers to enthral future generations of young people. Beginning with the Mexican Indian, Saint Juan Diego, born in 1474, and spanning 500 years, these 33 chapters include modern men and women, such as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and Jean Vanier, as well as old favorites such as SS Teresa of Avila, Philip Neri and Francis de Sales. 

Saint Joan of Arc: Quest for Peace 
The year was 1429, and the Hundred Years' War was raging. The Dauphin, the rightful king of France, had been denied his rightful throne, his hereditary lands torn from him. His enemies schemed to crown the English king as monarch of both England and France. Only a few French strongholds remained loyal. Hope was trickling away . . . But outside the besieged town of Orleans, a seventeen-year-old girl from Domrémy, her white and gold banner flying, would lead the French army to an improbable victory over their English oppressors. "What God commands must be right," she declared. Who was this astonishing young woman? How did she accomplish the feats that military experts called impossible? And what would become of her-and of her heroic quest for peace?

Sisters of the Last Straw
New edition by Chesterton Press! Our first series for younger readers. Meet the Sisters of the Last Straw, a group of sisters struggling hard to overcome their bad habits. Sister Krumbles forgets everything. Sister Shiny can't stop polishing and cleaning everything. Mother Mercy has a terrible temper. Yet when the misfit nuns band together to form a new order, lessons on tolerance and forgiveness (as well as much hilarity!) ensue. Wonderfully illustrated by Sue Gioulis, this series by veteran Catholic novelist Karen Kelly Boyce is sure to please readers of all ages. In this first book, Sister Lovely keeps hearing voices in the chapel. Could it be ghosts? Or is there another mystery? And then there's the matter of the runaway goats... read on to enjoy your first adventure with The Sisters of the Last Straw!

Stout Hearts & Whizzing Biscuits: A Patria Story (Volume 1)
When Oliver Stoop, age 11, moves with his family to a remote piece of land in northern Indiana, he soon discovers that someone is already living there - an entire kingdom of someones, in fact. These are the good citizens of Patria, a secret land founded by refugees from the Trojan War who sailed across the Atlantic in a reconfigured Trojan Horse - 3,000 years ago! For Oliver, Patria is a land of wonders - and for the first time in his life, friendship. There's young Prince Farnsworth Vesuvius, inventor of the Magna-Pneumatic Whizzing Biscuit Blaster, and his formidable sister, Princess Rose, whose inedible, stone-hard biscuits provide the blaster's ammunition. But there's also the rest of the eccentric and lovable Patrian Royal Family, the boy warriors in the Potawatomi Indian Camp, not to mention the Viking kids from the Geat Village, newcomers to the area who only arrived 1,000 years ago. Yet when the noble Knights of the Blue Sock threaten to drive off the Stoops by force of arms, Oliver has to decide where his loyalties lie, and whether he has the courage to undertake the quest that is both Patria's, and his family's, last, best hope of peace. Join Oliver now as he discovers a new world of fun and excitement right in his backyard!

Stoop of Mastodon Meadow: A Patria Story (Volume 2)
In this hilarious and cavity-preventing sequel to Stout Hearts & Whizzing Biscuits, Oliver Stoop enrolls in the boys' school in Patria, Mastodon Meadow. But almost as soon as he arrives he is caught up in a mystery involving a scandalous and anonymous new student newspaper, the Avenger. And when Oliver and his best friends, Prince Farnsworth and Princess Rose Vesuvius, emerge as the prime suspects behind the mudslinging broadsheet, it will require all the pluck and ingenuity of Vesuvius, Stoop & Co., Detectives, to find the real ink-fingered culprits before they themselves are fingered for the crime!

The Story of Saint John Paul II, A Boy Who Became Pope
"Who do you love most?" Framed around the question "Who do you love most?", this ravishingly illustrated biography for children ages 6-9 tells the captivating story of Saint John Paul II. The story, bursting with brightly colored illustrations, reveals how John Paul II's answer to that very important question blossomed into heroic virtue, holiness, and service to the Church and the world. From an ordinary little boy growing up in Poland to the world leader of the Catholic Church, John Paul II serves as an inspiration for today's aspiring youth. Share your affection for this beloved pope and celebrate his canonization with the children in your life!



For Chiquita (age 9, on Easter Day!):


Book of Saints for Catholic Children: 96 Illustrated Stories

This beautiful book contains 96 illustrated stories of saints from St. Agatha to St. Zita. Each saint has a story and a picture of the saint and their feast day. Indexed.





Heroines of God: Saints for Girls

A book about female saints, directed towards strengthening the faith of young girls. For each saint, there is a picture, and a short, page long description of their lives.


A Story of St. Clare
Exact reprint of Dujarie Press 1957 printing. In 1194, Saint Clare was born into a wealthy family in Assisi, Italy. As she became a beautiful young woman, her father expected that she would marry a wealthy man. But Clare believed that God did not want her to marry. When Clare heard Saint Francis preach, she asked for his advice. Saint Francis helped Clare discern that God was calling her to live a life of prayer and poverty. Together, they founded a cloistered Order for women, which is now known as the Poor Clares. Reading this story can encourage us to follow in the footsteps of Saint Clare, who loved God so much that she devoted herself to a life of prayer and poverty, secluded from the cares of the world.


The Queen and the Cross: The Story of Saint Helen

In this fabulous and instructive blend of tale and history, children ages 5-8 will be inspired by the lore and legend of the faith. Boys and girls alike will be captivated by Helen, a heroic empress on a mission, and will be encouraged to treasure the Holy Cross in their own lives!

Saints for Girls: Sticker Book

This wonderful activity book for Catholic children features 25 reusable easy-peel stickers. In "Saints for Girls Sticker Book" children can read the names of the Saints in the book, and choose the Saint that fits in the appropriate space. They can also use these stickers to make holy cards and greeting cards or to decorate their own books. 8.5" W x 11" H, 12 pages of stickers.




Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories
I purchased this lovely book when it was first released at the end of 2012 and I still haven't given it to the children. I'm looking forward to reading it with them soon! "From the scores of beautiful and thrilling tales in the Bible, celebrated British author Amy Steedman has collected three dozen that are sure to delight young children. With the confidence of a master storyteller practiced in holding the attention of even the most restless child, she weaves tales of Noah and Moses, Solomon and David, and Daniel in the lion's den. She leads young listeners to marvel at prophesies of the coming Savior, to be charmed by the gentle goodness of His boyhood, and be dazzled by the scores of miracles that proved He is the Messiah coming to save Israel ... and to save, as well, every little child who hears these stories."



For Snuggles (age 6):




Heroes of God: Saints for Boys

"Fr Daniel Lord's Famous Stories of the Saints Chosen Especially for Boys (64 pages). Beautiful Illustrations for Every Bible Story by renowned Classical Children's Artist Larry Ruppert ."






Jorge from Argentina

"Discover the story of Pope Francis! This delightfully illustrated biography leads young readers ages 6-8 to identify with the adventures and challenges that molded Pope Francis into a missionary of God's unconditional love. Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina to parents of Italian descent. He was elected as the 266th pope on March 13, 2013 after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. As the first pope to be a member of the Jesuit religious order, to come from Latin America, and to take the papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis made history.




The Hobbit: Illustrated Edition

A beautiful gift edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's enchanting tale, fully illustrated by Jemima Catlin. “A glorious account of a magnificent adventure, filled with suspense and seasoned with a quiet humor that is irresistible . . . All those, young or old, who love a fine adventurous tale, beautifully told, will takeThe Hobbit to their hearts.” – New York Times Book Review


Saint George and the Dragon 

This beautifully-illustrated book, with 13 full page illustrations, relates the often-told story of St George and the dragon, with an afterword that looks at the real meaning of the legend.


Saint for Boys: Sticker Book

This wonderful activity book for Catholic children features 25 reusable easy-peel stickers. In "Saints for Boys Sticker Book" children can read the names of the Saints in the book, and choose the Saint that fits in the appropriate space. They can also use these stickers to make holy cards and greeting cards or to decorate their own books. 8.5" W x 11" H, 12 pages of stickers.




A Little Book About Confession for Children

"A Little Book about Confession for Children explains the hows and whys of going to Confession. It includes step-by-step instructions for preparing and receiving this beautiful sacrament of healing, which draws us into the infinite mercy of God. The book even provides an examination of conscience just for kids. Everything you and your child need to know about the Sacrament of Reconciliation (or Confession) can be found in this informative little book with charming four-color illustrations. Perfect for preparing to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time, this little book is sure to be used over and over again."



For Rose (age 4):


Saints for Girls: A First Book for Little Catholic Girls

Such a beautiful book! "Saints for Girls's a beautiful treasure for little Catholic girls with saint stories they will love, remember and admire. Illustrations on every page with over half in full color. Those included in this edition are Saints: Genevieve, Elizabeth, Frances Cabrini, Helena, Brigid, Teresa of Avila, Thérèse of the Little Flower of Jesus and Bernadette."



All Creatures Great and Small

"A lush little board book edition of the beloved hymn. Naoko Stoop's charming art, with an array of cuddly animals and an adorable little girl, captures the sweet spirit of the lyrics, which offer praise for nature, beauty, and the glory of all creation. The girl, accompanied everywhere by a cute monkey, wanders through glowing fields of flowers, where birds fly and nest; purple mountains with a flowing river where ducks make their home; and lush butterfly-filled meadows, perfect for playing. This is a gorgeous book for parents and children to share. "


Quiet Time With Cassatt, Sharing with Renoir and Painting with Picaso
New board books in the best-selling Mini Masters series feature beautiful paintings from Cassatt, Renoir and Picasso and rhyming text introducing budding artists to these famous masters.



Sense and Sensibility: A BabyLit Opposites Primer

Adding to our collection of BabyLit books... Costco recently had many of the titles for sale! I have some others that I will save for birthdays or Christmas.  And, yes, I think I like these books more than the little ones! ;)


My First Pictures of Mary

This charming board book with rounded corners introduces toddlers to their Blessed Mother Mary with sweet, four-color pictures. Key moments in Mary's life are illustrated with one large picture and, on the opposing pages, several smaller pictures containing details from the scene. By pointing out and naming the pictures with a parent, even very young children can come to know and love Mary, the mother of Jesus.




Easter Bunny's Amazing Day
Meet the Risen Jesus with an amazing bunny—and his amazing tale—in this beautifully illustrated hardcover children’s book. Children will learn about Jesus’ friendship and comfort through the eyes of a timid bunny rabbit who experiences firsthand the love and joy Jesus brings. A new enhanced version will be available Easter 2014, and these first-edition copies are going fast! Easter Bunny's Amazing Day is sure to be a family favorite every Easter.



For Bud (age 2):


Saints for Boys: A First Book for Little Catholic Boys

"Saints for Boys is compiled especially for little Catholic boys preschool age up through the second grade level with illustrations on every page, over forty in full color. These stories will be loved by little Catholics and will remain in their hearts and memories for years. Those included in this edition are Saints: Aloysius Gonzaga, Vincent de Paul, Dominic Savio, Francis of Assisi, Archangel Gabriel, Joseph, Patrick, Benedict and Michael. Also included are some special and important first prayers. "



Mini Masters Boxed Set

Four beautiful board books from the best-selling Mini Masters series, all packed in a colorful box. The set includes: Dancing with Degas, A Picnic with Monet, A Magical Day with Matisse, andIn the Garden with Van Gogh.




Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Camping Primer

"Take a trip downriver in Huckleberry Finn: A BabyLit Fishing Primer. Alison Oliver’s crisp illustrations help little ones learn fishing vocabulary such as “raft,” “river,” and “fishing line” while Jennifer Adam’s carefully curated quotations from the original text will have parents reading with the soft, twangy accent of Mark Twain."



So Many Bunnies Board Book: A Bedtime ABC and Counting Book

Old Mother Rabbit lived in a shoe. She had twenty-six children and knew what to do. From Abel, who sleeps on a table, to Zed who sleeps on the shed, help Mother Rabbit tuck a whole alphabet of adorable little bunnies in for the night.




My First Pictures of Easter

The moving events of Holy Week and Easter are tenderly told and illustrated for toddlers by the best-selling children's author Maite Roche. Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are introduced with one large picture and simple text. On the opposing page are smaller pictures with key terms. With this book, even very young children will quickly learn the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus. 




God Bless Our Easter

"Little ones learn to look for all God’s Easter blessings. Preschoolers can’t help but notice all the new wonders of springtime, and God Bless Our Easter emphasizes that each blessing comes from God! Lambs, bunnies, ducklings, piglets, chicks—lots of snuggly farm animals will take your little ones through the sweet rhyming story and have them asking to read the book long after Easter is past. The second book in the new God Bless series, God Bless Our Easter from the same illustrator of God Bless You and Good Night."


You can find links to all my other book lists here and our past Easter posts here.


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A Basket of Books to Giveaway!



I have a basket filled with books to send to my visitors here at Shower of Roses!  Some of these books are duplicates of what our children will be recieving in their baskets this year and the rest are books they have been given in the past (including the Stacks of Books on Christmas Morning and Baskets of Books last Easter). I will be drawing seven names, one for each title, using the random generator through Rafflecopter.  Thank you to Harvey House Publishing, Ignatius Press, and Ligouri for sponsoring some of these giveaways!

1. The Gate sponsored by Harvey House Publishing 

2. Our Holy Father the Pope sponsored by Ignatius Press

3. The Day the Sun Danced (DVD) sponsored by Shower of Roses

4. Clare's Costly Cookie sponsored by Shower of Roses

5. A Little Book About Confession for Children sponsored by Ignatius Press

6. Easter Bunny's Amazing Day sponsored by Liguori Publications

7. Blessed Miguel Pro Glory Stories (CD) sponsored by Shower of Roses


Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter box below for a chance to win one of seven prizes:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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